I was bemused by Ged Taylor’s letter (November 27) criticising the Conservatives’ opposition to allocating a £50,000 subsidy to the forthcoming Spice Girls concert.
Mr Taylor claims that when the council handed £350,000 of taxpayers’ money to Beyoncé and One Direction in previous years, the city’s pubs and restaurants were “packed to the rafters”.
Does he have any evidence of this?
Even if he could prove this, these concerts are one night a year.
The Conservative Group can think of numerous ways to spend £50,000 that would help bring people into our city every night of the year.
Similarly, he is right to say that these concerts generate millions – but they do so for the millionaire performers and their management agencies.
I hope Mr Taylor isn’t under the impression that the people of Sunderland are the main benefactors in this situation, because they aren’t.
Finally, Mr Taylor says that one must speculate to accumulate, an adage that suggests that taking financial risks can reap profits.
That’s true in many ways – but it isn’t the council’s place to take risks with taxpayers’ money.
I have to tell people in Barnes that the council cannot repair our roads as requested because there’s no money, only then to have to answer emails about why we’re handing over a cheque to Scary Spice.
It is embarrassing that our city has been mocked in the national media because our Labour council claims to be penniless one day, but thinks nobody will notice when they give 50 grand to the Spice Girls the next.
A Labour councillor then told me they were embarrassed by the decision. That tells readers all they need to know.
Conservative Councillor for Barnes